Solidify, you are too cute

Being the writer of a Thoroughbred blog means that I get to do totally fun things and call it work. Like, say, watch a ten minute video of a trainer riding an OTTB, for research purposes. 

I know I called dibs on Four X The Trouble, but somehow I happened upon the blog page for Solidify, another OTTB in the Retired Racehorse Training Challenge, and I am seriously in love. You guys. I don’t know how anyone could not want this horse. Only a sociopathic lunatic would not want this horse. Or someone who doesn’t like horses. (That’s pretty much the same thing.)

(Video after jump!)

Solidify, who last raced in December, does things I’m pretty sure half the horses in the United States of America do not do. Like stretch into contact. And walk politely on a loose rein. And step into a left-lead canter from the walk. Good heavens.

If you feel like drooling over a sweet little Thoroughbred tonight, this ten-minute video of Solidify is just what the doctor ordered. And, just for fun, study the way that Tiffany Catledge, his trainer, is handling him. She is sensitive, with a quiet seat, tipped slightly ahead of the vertical, and very firm through the knees and thigh, less so in the lower leg, although her heel is down for security. But best of all, check out her lovely, open, giving hands.

(or watch at Retired Racehorse Training.org)

I love wide-open hands on a youngster or an OTTB. One of the things that riders often don’t realize when they graduate from a lesson horse to their first greenie is that they’ve been taught to ride with high, close-together hands (really this is more of a dressage thing than anything else). A horse that still has to learn to move into contact will resent a set hand position. Loosening up the elbows, and dropping the hands and letting them move out to the sides, provides a loopy, comfortable rein where it is welcoming for the horse to move his neck forward and down.

But back to Solidify, isn’t he just lovely? I’m simply amazed at how quiet and happy he is.

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8 Comments

Filed under Retired Racehorse Trainer Challenge

8 responses to “Solidify, you are too cute

  1. Kim

    I too loved Tempyst, but I watched Solidify’s video and am smitten. Several years ago I was at Saratoga during racing season and I watched a groom quietly, rhythmically, beautifully trotting one of the racehorses around the trees in the stable area. It was so lovely and I’ll never forget that image. Perhaps Solidify had a groom like that.

    • Perhaps! Every now and then you get a horse who seems like he came out of the womb with the dressage gene. You take them out on the track and they jog around on the bit, swinging from the hind end and shoulder like pros. They’re naturals. Solidify seems like that type.

  2. Yes, he’s a dream. I’ll take him! Our two youngsters (off the track in Oct) prove that TB’s are not crazy horses–we ride them on the trails and along roads in bitless bridles. They are truly amazing!

  3. I agree about Tiffany’s riding. I was really comfortable putting her in the Trainer Challenge because I watched her do a dressage test on a hot horse a couple years ago and the harmony was incredible. And wow, Solidify is soooooo amazing.

  4. Awww, I loved all the “gooood boooooy”s I heard in the video. And I am with you on the hands thing!

  5. Kristin

    Wow! Talk about a hunk! He was my favorite from the beginning because he reminds me of my guy, and he (they both, really) continues to impress me. What a really lovely horse with a fantastic attitude. Makes me want to take him home! Someone is going to get so lucky with him.
    Watching the training videos for all of the horses in the challenge is really fantastic, educational, and really a treat. What awesome horses! Brings a little tear to my eye to see them blossoming! Thanks to the trainers for doing such a great job, and to the RRTP for putting it all together. Really amazing!

  6. eva

    it is a treat to the heart to watch this..

  7. Well that means I have dibs on Four X the Trouble, now. 🙂

    Yes, Solidify is lovely. Such nice movement!

    And I’m still completely smitten by the troublemaker. I can’t help it!!

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